Swiss economy posts better-than-expected growth for 4th quarter, last before euro peg dropped

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Official data show that Switzerland's economy expanded by a stronger-than-expected 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter, the last before the country's central bank abandoned its effort to cap the Swiss franc's value against the euro.

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Economists had expected growth of 0.3 percent compared with the previous quarter. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs said Tuesday private and public spending helped fuel the economy, while a drop in imports outpaced a 1-percent export slide.

Switzerland's economy grew 2 percent in 2014 as a whole.

Switzerland is surrounded by countries that use the euro. The Jan. 15 decision to abandon a currency peg against the euro has raised fears of a major hit to Swiss exports.

UniCredit economist Martina von Terzi forecast a 0.7 percent first-quarter drop in gross domestic product.